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Saturday, June 18, 2011

ROOTS OF THE EASTSIDE SOUND - THE RHYTHM & BLUES INFLUENCE - BIG JAY MCNEELY


Tenor saxophonest, Cecil "Big Jay" McNeely is known as "the king of the honkers", He was born on April 29, 1927 in Watts, California. Discoverd by Johnny Otis, Big Jay would go on to form his own band and go on to record for Savoy records.
  He would record a rockin' honked-up instrumental "The Decon's Hop" which would hit #1 on the R&B charts in February 1949.
   In the early- to mid-fifties, Big Jay added vocal groups to his act, beginning with Four Dots & Dash, which included, at one time or another, 16-year-old Jesse Belvin, Marvin Phillips (later of Marvin & Johnny fame), Tony Allen and Mel Williams. Big Jay also worked extensively with The Hollywood Flames, The Penguins and The Medallions up and down the West Coast. In 1955-56 he shared the stage with the Clovers, the Harptones (at the Apollo Theater), Bill Haley and His Comets, the Moonglows, Little Richard, and others.
  Big Jay would also go on to record for other labels - Federal and Swingin'
  In 1959 Big Jay enjoyed his biggest hit, a blues ballad called "There Is Something on Your Mind," featuring Haywood "Little Sonny" Warner on vocals. The record stayed on the R&B charts for six months and reached as high as #44 pop. The song was later a hit for Bobby Marchan. Other artists who have recorded Big Jay's song include B.B. King, Etta James, Freddy Fender, The Hollywood Flames, Gene Vincent, Albert King and Professor Longhair.

You may listen to "The Deacon's Hop" here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rv4bdrZy6g0



You may listen to the Eastside classic "There Is Something On Your Mind" here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpsM3IkbrfE

NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED!!

Soley for historical, educational & listening pleasure.

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